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Diablo 3 Auction House Re-Dated; Dev Questions DRM

By - Source: Blizzard | B 88 comments

Diablo 3's auction house is expected to launch by the end of the month.

Right after announcing that Diablo 3's real-world auction house would be delayed, Blizzard on Friday said that it now estimates a launch date of Tuesday, May 29. The previous date was set for Tuesday, May 22, but was thus suspended due to the server struggles following the game's release earlier this week.

On Thursday Blizzard issued an apology to the Diablo 3 community for putting up with the list of errors served up to anxious, irritated gamers over the last several days.

"We’d like to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who joined the global Diablo 3 launch celebrations this week, as well as to everyone who was ready to jump into Sanctuary the moment the game went live," the company said. "We’ve been humbled by your enthusiasm -- and we sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure."

Forbes is currently asking if the botched Diablo 3 launch has damaged PC gaming on a whole. Fans sunk $60 into a game they eagerly waited to purchase for over a decade, and couldn't even play because of Internet-based DRM. Without the ability to log onto Battle.net, they were locked out of the single-player campaign. As indie PC designer Jeff Vogel states, this scenario tarnishes the entire PC/Mac platform.

"Every gamer who gets hit with this sort of thing has a chance of being pushed away from the PC (and with good reason!) and toward consoles and iOS, platforms that don’t have these hassles," he said. "My business will, in a small way, get tarred with this brush, and it hurts my bottom line. Which makes me sad."

Most developers claim they were forced to consoles because of the piracy issues surrounding the PC/Mac platfrom -- piracy is rampant on all gaming platforms, but PC/Mac is by far the worst. Yet at the same time, restrictive DRM has pushed PC gamers over to consoles as well, and Diablo 3's launch blunder may be a perfect example of the DRM effect. It's almost as if the company is saying, "sure, we'll take your money, but there's no guarantee you can play it. It can't even be pirated."

Slashgear reports that Blizzard conducted emergency server restarts across Battle.net early Friday morning, and by 10:30am CST, the entire network was down -- including the website and forums. Everything seems to be up and running for the moment, and there's no sign of any kind of explanation. User comments state that the service was still down in Europe and Canada four hours ago. One user even suggests that people are trying to hack both the game and the anti-hack measures, and that Blizzard is doing its best to stop it.

Console owners grinning over the Diablo 3 woes will get their own troubles soon thanks to the coming tide of digital rights management, subscription services and used game prohibitions. Sounds like just another day on the PC platform.

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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    wildkitten , May 19, 2012 1:36 AM
    This doesn't even talk about the glut of DLC's which have cause developers to deliver half done games and then flesh out the games with DLC the customer has to pay for which increases the cost of the games dramatically.

    This whole argument about piracy is also dubious. For the record, I have never downloaded and played a game that was pirated. I value my computer too much to take the risk and to be perfectly honest, I don't want to play a game I don't pay for. That disclaimer aside, I have yet to see hard evidence that piracy does indeed affect sales that much. For one thing, they have to prove that someone who downloads a pirated copy would have bought it to begin with and there is no possible way to prove that. If someone plays a pirated Diablo 2 but they wouldn't have bought it anyway, Blizzard is out no money. I'm not saying it's right that the person pirated it, I'm just pointing out the fallacy of the argument.

    I've also seen articles where they have supposedly surveyed those who do download pirated game and many of them say they use it as demos to know whether or not to buy it. I have no idea if that's true or not, there is no way to prove that either, but there is some logic to it. Many games don't have a demo, or a demo good enough to make a judgement about a game, so I can see the rationale.

    I also do not believe for one moment that D3's online DRM is to prevent piracy. I believe the RMAH is the sole reason it's there. Initally we were told that they didn't want people duping or hacking items locally then placing them on the RMAH. But when they recently announced that there will be global play, but that items dropped not in your home region would not be able to go on the RMAH. Well, if they can prevent that, it would be very simple to code items in a local client to have certain tags that would make it impossible to place on the RMAH. If you can't access the server controlled items, there would be no way to know what tags would be needed to properly hack a locally dropped item.

    But someone who were to play D3 offline is a lot less likely to use the RMAH which means Activision Blizzard is out the transaction fee of these potential non sales so to speak. But if everyone has to play online where the server controls the drop rate which can be adjusted at any time by Blizzard, then the single player has to compete with the botters and farmers for the server controlled drops making it more likely a person will be tempted to use the RMAH to get an item they need.

    Honestly, the developers are doing more damage to gaming than pirates ever could.
  • 20 Hide
    ahnilated , May 19, 2012 1:28 AM
    Yeah, after 10 yrs in the making this game is a bit disappointing and the always on connection just ruins it for me. I can't stand games like this that require that connection to play the solo game.
  • 20 Hide
    nieur , May 19, 2012 1:53 AM
    why on earth any serious gamer will go towards iOS?
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    AznCracker , May 19, 2012 1:18 AM
    Im kinda disappointed with Diablo 3. Not as good as i thought it would be. Good thing im only on the Guest pass, saved me $60
  • 20 Hide
    ahnilated , May 19, 2012 1:28 AM
    Yeah, after 10 yrs in the making this game is a bit disappointing and the always on connection just ruins it for me. I can't stand games like this that require that connection to play the solo game.
  • 30 Hide
    wildkitten , May 19, 2012 1:36 AM
    This doesn't even talk about the glut of DLC's which have cause developers to deliver half done games and then flesh out the games with DLC the customer has to pay for which increases the cost of the games dramatically.

    This whole argument about piracy is also dubious. For the record, I have never downloaded and played a game that was pirated. I value my computer too much to take the risk and to be perfectly honest, I don't want to play a game I don't pay for. That disclaimer aside, I have yet to see hard evidence that piracy does indeed affect sales that much. For one thing, they have to prove that someone who downloads a pirated copy would have bought it to begin with and there is no possible way to prove that. If someone plays a pirated Diablo 2 but they wouldn't have bought it anyway, Blizzard is out no money. I'm not saying it's right that the person pirated it, I'm just pointing out the fallacy of the argument.

    I've also seen articles where they have supposedly surveyed those who do download pirated game and many of them say they use it as demos to know whether or not to buy it. I have no idea if that's true or not, there is no way to prove that either, but there is some logic to it. Many games don't have a demo, or a demo good enough to make a judgement about a game, so I can see the rationale.

    I also do not believe for one moment that D3's online DRM is to prevent piracy. I believe the RMAH is the sole reason it's there. Initally we were told that they didn't want people duping or hacking items locally then placing them on the RMAH. But when they recently announced that there will be global play, but that items dropped not in your home region would not be able to go on the RMAH. Well, if they can prevent that, it would be very simple to code items in a local client to have certain tags that would make it impossible to place on the RMAH. If you can't access the server controlled items, there would be no way to know what tags would be needed to properly hack a locally dropped item.

    But someone who were to play D3 offline is a lot less likely to use the RMAH which means Activision Blizzard is out the transaction fee of these potential non sales so to speak. But if everyone has to play online where the server controls the drop rate which can be adjusted at any time by Blizzard, then the single player has to compete with the botters and farmers for the server controlled drops making it more likely a person will be tempted to use the RMAH to get an item they need.

    Honestly, the developers are doing more damage to gaming than pirates ever could.
  • -7 Hide
    AlderonnX , May 19, 2012 1:47 AM
    Click to move (WTF its 2012 let me have my WASD) and DRM have my mind made up.. I won't be buying it.
  • 20 Hide
    nieur , May 19, 2012 1:53 AM
    why on earth any serious gamer will go towards iOS?
  • 20 Hide
    salgado18 , May 19, 2012 2:00 AM
    wildkitten ...

    Long story short, they should have made Diablo 3 like Diablo 2: everything is Battle.net, but you can create a local character to play offline, but it will never (ever) enter an online world.
  • -8 Hide
    salgado18 , May 19, 2012 2:01 AM
    AlderonnXClick to move (WTF its 2012 let me have my WASD)(...)

    What?
  • 13 Hide
    fedelm , May 19, 2012 2:23 AM
    wildkittenThis doesn't even talk about the glut of DLC's which have cause developers to deliver half done games and then flesh out the games with DLC the customer has to pay for which increases the cost of the games dramatically.This whole argument about piracy is also dubious. For the record, I have never downloaded and played a game that was pirated. I value my computer too much to take the risk and to be perfectly honest, I don't want to play a game I don't pay for. That disclaimer aside, I have yet to see hard evidence that piracy does indeed affect sales that much. For one thing, they have to prove that someone who downloads a pirated copy would have bought it to begin with and there is no possible way to prove that. If someone plays a pirated Diablo 2 but they wouldn't have bought it anyway, Blizzard is out no money. I'm not saying it's right that the person pirated it, I'm just pointing out the fallacy of the argument.I've also seen articles where they have supposedly surveyed those who do download pirated game and many of them say they use it as demos to know whether or not to buy it. I have no idea if that's true or not, there is no way to prove that either, but there is some logic to it. Many games don't have a demo, or a demo good enough to make a judgement about a game, so I can see the rationale.I also do not believe for one moment that D3's online DRM is to prevent piracy. I believe the RMAH is the sole reason it's there. Initally we were told that they didn't want people duping or hacking items locally then placing them on the RMAH. But when they recently announced that there will be global play, but that items dropped not in your home region would not be able to go on the RMAH. Well, if they can prevent that, it would be very simple to code items in a local client to have certain tags that would make it impossible to place on the RMAH. If you can't access the server controlled items, there would be no way to know what tags would be needed to properly hack a locally dropped item.But someone who were to play D3 offline is a lot less likely to use the RMAH which means Activision Blizzard is out the transaction fee of these potential non sales so to speak. But if everyone has to play online where the server controls the drop rate which can be adjusted at any time by Blizzard, then the single player has to compete with the botters and farmers for the server controlled drops making it more likely a person will be tempted to use the RMAH to get an item they need.Honestly, the developers are doing more damage to gaming than pirates ever could.


    I very much agree with you, sir.
  • 9 Hide
    wildkitten , May 19, 2012 2:28 AM
    salgado18Long story short, they should have made Diablo 3 like Diablo 2: everything is Battle.net, but you can create a local character to play offline, but it will never (ever) enter an online world.

    That would have probably created more sales, but would have hurt the RMAH which I think Activision Blizzard believes will give them greater profit down the road.

    I'm not saying I agree with that reason, I much more agree with you as that would create more choice.
  • 6 Hide
    alidan , May 19, 2012 2:58 AM
    torchlight 2 anyone?
    or even titan quest?

    the only other games i know of new that are rougelikes either are to rouge like to go mainstream or free to play, and that is a wait and see proposition.
  • 3 Hide
    aoneone , May 19, 2012 3:23 AM
    aha just wait for diablo 3 skidrow! i cant wait ^_^
  • 6 Hide
    ghostsoldier , May 19, 2012 3:38 AM
    After reading about the online-only play, I'm not going to be buying this. I already stopped playing WoW because of connection problems.

    Torchlight 2 anyone?
  • 12 Hide
    badaxe2 , May 19, 2012 3:41 AM
    I'm enjoying Diablo 3 very much so far. I've only had a couple play sessions and am only at level 7, but I've been able to log in and play without issue, aside from a little latency here and there.

    Is it ideal? No, but we should expect they'll fix the issues because with a game this big they're not going to just let it wither. This whole launch scenario should set an example that it's best to keep single player single, and completely separate of multiplayer.
  • 10 Hide
    nhasibacsi , May 19, 2012 4:00 AM
    This type of DRM is ridiculous.
  • 5 Hide
    Hunter_Killers , May 19, 2012 4:12 AM
    The sad thing is even though I haven't been having any issues as of yet with D3. The increased latency is going to take until the player base drops off to go down. 300ms+ is not fun when things can 1 shot you.

    Yeah I do know its not me, its under 66ms in the late night/early morning.
  • 8 Hide
    bigdragon , May 19, 2012 4:13 AM
    Don't worry. This sort of draconian DRM will be on the next generation of consoles. It's harming PC gaming simply because it's cheaper and easier to implement on PC. We PC gamers get to be the guinea pigs. Soon all gamers will face the same horrendous DRM requirements. It's only a matter of time. I'll spend my PC gaming dollars on companies who don't treat me like a pirate. Hell, I've been spending my time creating a PC game and will not treat my customers remotely near as poorly as Blizzard has with Diablo 3. The dinosaur developers and publishers are in trouble here, not the smaller operations.
  • 6 Hide
    lordcrazex , May 19, 2012 4:17 AM
    It's almost as if the company is saying,

    "sure, we'll take your money, but there's no guarantee you can play it. It can't even be pirated."


    bull's eye.....!
  • 7 Hide
    kcorp2003 , May 19, 2012 4:50 AM
    i too grin that the last paragraph.

    Console owners grinning over the Diablo 3 woes will get their own troubles soon thanks to the coming tide of digital rights management, subscription services and used game prohibitions. Sounds like just another day on the PC platform.
  • 8 Hide
    Leopardos , May 19, 2012 5:32 AM
    azncrackerIm kinda disappointed with Diablo 3. Not as good as i thought it would be. Good thing im only on the Guest pass, saved me $60


    Well , the game is very good , leave the DRM alone now , But the game is AWSOME!!
    With the Guest pass you dont even reach 20% of the game...

    The fun start after act 1.
  • 4 Hide
    Zeppelingcdm , May 19, 2012 6:08 AM
    Ya I almost agree the real fun starts in Nightmare. As for all the haters, most of you haven't even played the game. Probably just jumping in on the troll bandwagon. I've played several times since the launch (logged on at 11:59 :) ) It seems that everyone just wants to flame this game whether they've played it or not. Lots of game have rough starts. I'll probably never enter the RMAH but the gold driven one is a real nice addition. The game is awesome, a really well done progression from D2 and no matter how much you bitch, it's not going anywhere for a long, long time :D 
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